Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmermann Wants Long-Term Contract With the Team

The Washington Nationals prepare for the 2009 season in Viera, Fla.
By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 22, 2009

VIERA, Fla., Feb. 21 -- In Ryan Zimmerman's perfect world, perhaps he plays 10 more seasons, and none of them results in statistics worse than the ones he produced in 2008. And perhaps Zimmerman goes through another decade of offseasons, and none of them feels the pinch of such a disadvantageous economic climate.

So why, then, does Zimmerman -- who arrived at spring training Saturday after signing a one-year contract late Thursday night -- want to negotiate a long-term deal right now? After a year punctured by injuries that limited him to career lows in home runs and RBI? During the ultimate global recession?

"It just gets to the point where you think: 'How much [money] do you really need? How much do you need, and do you really want to be here?' I think that's the most important thing," Zimmerman said.

"The whole point of being a free agent and having a negotiating power is to play where you want to want to play. And I don't really need to go into that. I'm happy here." . . .

Daniel Cabrera, Roger Bernadina and Shairon Martis have all decided to skip the World Baseball Classic and remain in camp.

Cabrera would have represented the Dominican Republic; Bernadina and Martis would have represented the Netherlands. Saúl Rivera (Puerto Rico) is still undecided.

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